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A Trip Through Our History

PATHWAYS TO FREEDOM

YOU SAW THE FILM, NOW TRAVEL IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR HISTORY WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS 

The National Hellenic Society (NHS) has crafted an enriching 9-day expedition called: Pathways to Freedom, a tribute to the epic cinematic masterpiece, Cliffs of Freedom.

The NHS extends a warm invitation to NHS members and their families to embark on this immersive voyage through Greek history and explore its hidden treasures. This captivating journey is scheduled for May and June, beginning in Athens, Europe's oldest capital, and culminating in Mani, the cradle of the Revolution, with captivating stops in Spetses, Nafplio, Arcadia, and Monemvasia along the way.

Throughout this extraordinary odyssey, participants will revel in opulent accommodations, accompanied by knowledgeable local guides and historical experts at every significant site. There will be delightful wine-tasting experiences and much more to savor.

Join us for an authentic Greek immersion, an opportunity to delve into the roots of our ancestors. We offer three distinct tiers of travel packages, accommodating groups of two to six individuals. Explore Greece's essence in the most personalized and comfortable way possible.

Check out a sample itinerary below and contact us at NHS headquarters if you're interested!  Reservations are on a First-Come-First-Served basis.

Pathways to Freedom Itinerary at a Glance

DAY ONE: A WARM WELCOME TO ATHENS, THE OLDEST CAPITAL IN EUROPE!

Welcome to Greece!! Upon arrival, our designated associate will greet you at Eleftherios Venizelos airport.  Private transfer to your accommodation in the city center. Check-in and take some time to rest. If you feel hungry there are plenty of food options around your hotel area for all tastes and preferences.

In the afternoon, wander around the city center, Plaka and Anafiotika, to explore Greece’s capital and its vibrant parts as well as some of its hidden gems, cobbled streets, and cozy squares with craft shops, street food, and ice cream parlors.

Enjoy a guided walking tour by our local expert, through Plaka at the base of the Acropolis hill, the oldest and most picturesque neighborhood in Athens, where you will weave through the small pedestrian streets lined with cute cafes, traditional tavernas, and souvenir shops, as well as lovely neoclassical buildings.

Then, continue your walk toward the scenic neighborhood of Anafiotika. The first houses of the area were built in the late 1830s by workers from the island of Anafi who came to Athens to work as carpenters and stone masons in the construction of King Otto's palace in Syntagma Square (now the Hellenic Parliament Building). Its blue and white Cycladic houses will make you feel like you are on an island rather than in the center of Athens.

In the evening enjoy dinner in one of the many options around Athens either in the city center or the coastal side.  Dinner arrangements/suggestions will be provided.

Activity: Cultural guided walking tour (Certified guide)​

DAY 2:  ATHENS IN TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY

Breakfast.

Your day will start with a historical lecture/presentation on that era before your cultural tour of significant landmarks of the War of the Greek Independence.

Today your Athens guided tour will start at the Zappeion Garden, where you will visit the equestrian statue of Georgios Karaiskakis, the famous military commander who was mortally wounded on April 22, 1827, in a skirmish before the battle of Faliro.

Next, you will visit the Athens War Museum, the Museum of the Greek Armed Forces, and the largest museum of military history in Greece. The museum has a comprehensive Greek Revolution collection among many others, including authentic armaments (photo on the right, uniforms, and manuscripts, as well as dioramas of the struggle. Your trip through history and time continues with the Benaki Museum. The Benaki Museum, established and endowed in 1930 by Antonis Benakis is housed in the Benakis family mansion in Koumpari St. The museum houses Greek works of art from prehistorical to modern times.

​The final visit will be to The National Historical Museum, housed in the Old Parliament Building and dedicated to modern Greek history, with its impressive collection of exhibits from the Ottoman era and the Revolution, many donated by the families of the revolutionaries. You could then enjoy lunch in Syntagma Square or at the Kolonaki area just up the road where you could also explore its upscale boutiques, and stores, as well as its fine restaurants and trendy bars. Dinner arrangements will be provided.

Activity: Lecture and Athens guided tour (Certified guide)

DAY 3:  STROLLING THROUGH COSMOPOLITAN HYDRA

Early breakfast and check out. Private transfer to the cosmopolitan island of Hydra (approx. 2 hr & 30 mins). On the way you will visit Nea Epidavros (approx. 1 hr & 15min), home to the site of the First National Assembly of the Greeks (December 1821 & January 1822) and its museum, but also this is where the Temporary Constitution of Greece and the Declaration of Independence were passed. You will then continue towards Hydra. Hydra not only is considered one of the most impressive islands in the Argosaronic Gulf but has played a significant role in the 1821 Greek Revolution War. The first stop is the bastions with the cannons (photo right) overlooking the crescent-shaped harbor of the island and the monument to Admiral Miaoulis, which dominates the upper level.

 

Finally, enjoy a short walk to the Hydra Historical Archives Museum and, then, walk through the town’s narrow alleys to visit the Lazaros Koundouriotis Historical Mansion, the home of the prominent figure in the War of Independence.

 

You can’t leave this picturesque island without exploring its distinctive beauty and special energy that so many international artists fell in love with. Stroll around and discover the mysterious, serene beauty of Hydra - as the island prohibits motor vehicles.

 

The old town has an array of options; paved streets, beautiful craft shops, and plenty of cute little places for coffee and snacks. We strongly suggest that you visit the Pirate bar-restaurant, a landmark of the island for many generations. Wendy and Takis are the owners and will welcome you with a smile on their faces and a glass in their hands. In the afternoon you will travel to Spetses.

 

Transport: All transfers will be with a luxury minivan(9-seated)

 

Activity: Walking tour by a local expert with historical facts about the island’s contribution to the Greek revolution

A VISIT TO SPETSES, THE CHARMING ISLAND OF BOUBOULINA

You will embark on the high-speed ferry to visit another island with important historical significance to the War; Spetses (approx. 30 mins). For the rest of the day, you are free to discover the island on your own. We recommend either a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, a bike ride, or just a nice stroll on the waterfront since Spetses is ideal for that.

Admire the grand mansions and the wonderful coastal road from the new to the old port and feel the island's ambiance.


In the evening, enjoy a nice dinner either at your beautiful hotel’s veranda or at the Old port next to the sea. Either way, the food will be great.

​After dinner, you could visit “Dapia’, next to your hotel the island's commercial center with a variety of options. Wander around the small and narrow streets of the vibrant town with plenty of tasteful shops, ice cream parlors, cafés, bars, and more. For those who will be visiting in the summer months consider the open-air theater a favorite summer entertainment for the Greeks.

*Our local associates will be at your disposal for anything you might need

​DAY 4: ISLAND BOAT TOUR TO ZOGERIA BEACH OR AG.ANARGYROI

Breakfast.

 

Time to explore this wonderful island. Experience the island's coastline and its beautiful beaches. Head towards the lovely beach of Agioi Anargyroi, by car (15-20 min of a beautiful ride). A boat tour could be available as well. There beside the crystal-clear sea, one could visit the picturesque cave of Bekiris. It continues through the years, to fascinate visitors with the beauty of its interior. After your swim, enjoy some freshly cooked Greek delicacies at the beach tavern. The myth says that the newlyweds will have a good life together if they swim and kiss in the cave.

In the afternoon, once your lunch break is over, you could visit the Bouboulina Museum, housed at the Laskarina Bouboulina’s mansion (just above the port), with its magnificent carved wooden ceiling and the collection of personal objects and household furnishing of the heroine. The mansion is a good example of the lifestyle the wealthy Greek merchants used to enjoy at that time. Very close to the museum, situated on the seafront promenade is also the statue of Bouboulina, who until recently had the honor of being the only female Admiral in world Naval history.

 

In the evening, since it is your last night on the island, we would suggest a

visit to the picturesque old port of Spetses and dinner by

the sea during sunset time.

Activity: A premises tour from the administrator and Bouboulina’s

ancestor (or one of the museum's associates)

DAY 5: NAFPLIO, THE FIRST CAPITAL OF THE NEWLY LIBERATED GREECE

In the morning, you will travel to Nafplio.

Nafplio was the first capital of the newly-born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. Upon arrival drop off at your accommodation and some free time.

In the afternoon enjoy a guided city tour. Follow a dream route to discover Náfplio’s precious gems starting from the medieval Old Town Start with Syntagma Square, and its historical buildings, including Vouleftiko (the First Parliament building) and Governor Kapodistrias’ palace, as well as Three Admirals’ Square (dedicated to the 3 admirals that defeated the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Navarino in 1827), with the funeral monument containing the remains of Dimitrios Ypsilantis and the statue of King Otto, the first king of Greece. 

Then, you could visit the Church of Agios Spyridon, on the steps of which Governor Kapodistrias was killed in 1831, and the War Museum, which is housed in the building that was once the first Military Cadet School of Greece (founded by Governor Kapodistrias in 1828). Once the tour is over you are free to explore this charming coastal town on your own.

The area is full of beautiful small craft shops, famous “komboloyia” shops, cafes, and restaurants. Dinner arrangements can be made at one of our associates (TBD), where you could savor delicious Greek and Mediterranean recipes, indigenous wine varieties, or tsipouro, ( traditional live music from local musicians could be scheduled upon availability).

Activity: City walking guided tour by our certified expert on the Greek Revolution.

DAY 6: ARCADIA AND ITS BASTIONS OF THE REVOLUTION

Breakfast and then your guided tour to Arcadia, the heartland of the Peloponnese will begin. Visit the historical villages of Dimitsana, Stemnitsa, and Karytaina (photo on the left), the bastions of the revolution as they provided manpower, gunpowder, and strategic strongholds. From there the revolution could take hold and expand to the rest of the Peloponnese.

Each of the villages has its own charm and important antiquities to witness. At Dimitsana and Stemnista you could visit the house of Paleon Patron Germanos, the Water Power Museum, Stemnitsa’s central square, and the Monastery of Chrysopygi. At Karytaina, you could visit the Castle of Karytaina, reinforced by Theodoros Kolokotronis.

Lunch at a local tavern in one of the villages. On your way back to Nafplio you could stop at Libovitsi village to visit the Kolokotroni family home, where the Greek hero was born (photo right), which has been turned into a museum.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Palamidi Fortress, built by the Venetians and the last Ottoman-held fortress. Once up the hill, the highest point of Nafplio (rising 216 m above sea level), you will savor a wonderful panoramic view of the sea and all the surroundings.

Dinner arrangements/suggestions will be provided.

Activity: Guided tour by our certified expert on the Greek Revolution

​DAY 7: MONEMVASIA, WHERE TIME SEEMS TO HAVE STOPPED

Early breakfast and check out. Private transfer to the island fort of Monemvasia (approximately 2,1/2-3 hrs).

Upon entering the castle, your journey back in time begins. Our local expert will guide you around its narrow cobbled streets, with restored stone-built houses, nestled at the edge of a big rock by the sea. Immerse yourself in a unique medieval atmosphere. Here was the first victory of the Greek rebels against a fortress town (of the many in Peloponesse) in August 1821. The main walkway leads to the central square with its cannon and the Church of Elkomenos Christos (Christ in Chains). Then you could head up to the Church of Agia Sofia. Here you could witness a gorgeous cliff-top view. After your tour, enjoy lunch with a view of the Aegean Sea, along with local wine varieties of Malagousia, Kydonitsa, and Mavroudi, which were famous across Europe during the medieval years and consumed only by royalties.

Early afternoon you will head to Gerolimenas port. (approx. 2hrs)

​*Optional stop at the port town of Gytheio (approx. 1,1/2 hr), where you could visit the Tzannnetaki Castle, ( Pyrgos Tzannetaki), built in 1826 by Tzannetakis Grigorakis, the liberator of Monemvasia, and enjoy a refreshing drink and snacks at one of the cafes, lapped by the sea.

Arrival at Gerolimenas coastal village and check-in.

A very special dinner is scheduled for this evening, at the hotel’s awarded restaurant with traditional Maniot-Greek cuisine!

Activity: Guided tour by our local expert

DAY 8: MANI, THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE REVOLUTION

Breakfast by the sea.

Today explore the Laconian Mani, essentially the birthplace of the Greek Revolution, guided tour.

Mani has been associated in such a significant way with the 1821 revolution. Head towards Areopoli town (approx. 25 min away) where the Maniates, led by Petros Mavromichalis declared the start of the Revolution on March 17, 1821. Visit the Central Square, with the statue of P. Mavromichalis and the monument, the 17th March Square, and the Church of the Taxiarches, where the Revolution was declared. Finally, a visit to the Pikoulakis Tower House 1821 Museum, is worth the effort.

Later, at around lunchtime, you could enjoy lunch at a nearby taverna (Barba Petros) and experience the mouthwatering local cuisine. Or if it’s a hot day head to the small port of Limeni (approx. 15 min away), where you could swim and snorkel in the crystal clear blue waters, and then, savor a delicious meal of fresh seafood at Takis’ fish taverna.

*Another option could be a visit to the Dyros or Vlychada cave just a few minutes away. The Dyros cave is the most significant natural site of its kind in Greece. Spectacular stalagmites and stalactites that formed drop by drop, over hundreds of thousands of years, captivate visitors. Vlyhada Cave is regarded as one of the world’s three most impressive caves, in its category.

Return to Gerolimenas port.

Evening free.

Activity: Guided tour by our local expert

​DAY 9: RETURN THROUGH THE MOREA

Breakfast and check out. Today you will travel back to Athens, through the heart of the Peloponnese. Once in Arcadia, your first stop will be at the awarded winery of Yiannis Tzelepos. Enjoy a tour of the premises and visit part of the winery’s vineyards. You can then experience a wine tasting of indigenous varieties along with food pairing. Another option would be to visit a nearby taverna for local traditional delicacies—truly a back-in-time authentic experience.

After lunch visit the stone-built, mountainous village of Ano Doliana. Here, you will witness the site of the Battle of Doliana and the local museum (the building was Nikitaras’ headquarters) with items saved from the famous battle where the Greeks, defeated an Ottoman army ten times their force – and their leader Nikitaras earned his nickname “Tourkofagos”.The next stop will be the city of Tripoli or Tripolitza as called at the time, considered rightfully the heart of the revolution. Here is where the rebellious Greeks won a significant victory against the Turks, liberating the city. First stop, the Areos Square, one of the biggest in Greece. Here you will see the busts of many of the revolutionary fighters and the pillar of the notables, followed by a visit to the nearby War Museum (pict. above), with significant exhibits of the Greek revolution.  Ιt was inaugurated in January 2020. Built in 1861, it is housed on the first floor of the Malliaropoulos estate, opposite the Metropolitan Church of Agios Vasileios.

Next stop Athens (approx.2 hr & 30 min). Arrive at your accommodation and check-in.Once settled you could wander around and explore a bit more of the vibrant city center and the modern soul of this ancient city. As this will be your last night in Greece, enjoy a special farewell dinner a ‘Greek glenti’ as we call it. Opa!!

 

Activity: Ano Doliana museum tour by its administrator. A presentation of historical facts and local myths at Tripoli’s square by our expert guide.

​DAY 10: TRAVEL BACK HOME!

Breakfast and check out.

Private transfer to the airport for those traveling back.

Have a safe trip back!

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

If you're interested in the Pathways to Freedom program, please contact us at NHS Headquarters.  NHS will act as a liaison between you and our travel agent from Greecefully, then put you in direct contact, where our agent, after discussing the details of the trip with you, will provide a payment link.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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